Ukraine peace summit fails, but China says ‘don’t blame us’

By Andrew Powell

(Unsplash)

A Chinese Communist Party-owned news outlet claims blaming China and other “developing countries” for not bringing peace to Ukraine is “not tenable,” after the Ukraine Peace Summit held over the weekend fell flat.

According to an article published by The Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, Chinese government-owned Global Times stated in a now-deleted article that China advocated for opening up dialogue, and recommended a cease-fire in the conflict.

“Blaming developing countries, including China, for rejecting peace is not tenable in any way,” said the CCP mouthpiece. “Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, China has regarded a cease-fire, the resumption of dialogue and the launching of peace talks as the only viable option for resolving the crisis, which is also the general sentiment of most members of the international community.”

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A day before the summit began in Switzerland, China’s deputy representative to the U.N. Geng Shuang stated that Russia and Ukraine needed to directly negotiate peace, according to the South China Morning Post, another CCP-owned news outlet.

“China calls on the parties to the conflict to demonstrate political will, come together and start peace talks as soon as possible to achieve a cease-fire and halt military actions,” Shuang said.

However, Chinese President Xi Jinping was notably absent from the peace summit, which was attended by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, while Russian President Vladimir Putin was not invited. Chinese officials reportedly noted that any real peace deals have stalled, and that the talks were pointless without Russia’s presence.

Ahead of the summit, Putin remarked during a news conference that the only way to peace is if Ukraine agrees to terms already laid out in 2022, which include abandoning its plans to join NATO.

“Ukrainian troops must be completely withdrawn from the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, the Kherson and the Zaporizhzhia regions,” Putin said. “As soon as Kyiv declares that it is ready for such a decision, and begins the actual withdrawal of troops from these regions, as well as officially notifies that they abandon plans to join NATO – an order to cease fire and begin negotiations will immediately follow from our side.”

Meanwhile, Russia is strengthening ties with North Korea and so-called BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – which make up over 40% of the world’s population and one-third of the world’s GDP.

Moreover, the BRICS group’s power is likely to increase, after Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates were all invited to join earlier this year. Indonesia also looks to be on track to join.

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